TN 24 (11-09)
RS 01505.040 Applying Federal and State Laws to Section 218 and State and Local Coverage Determinations
A. General information and the application of law to state and local coverage
Determinations regarding state Section 218 Agreements are governed by Federal law and are made by SSA. These determinations may be based on decisions regarding certain specific issues to which either Federal or state law is applied. Where state law may have a bearing on the issue, an opinion of the state legal officer (ex., State Attorney General) may be requested if one does not already exist. The opinion will be given due weight in making the final determination.
States are expected to work with the Parallel Social Security Office (PSSO) on state and local coverage and reporting issues. However, in some cases, a state may determine assistance from the Regional Office (RO) is necessary. In these situations, it is appropriate for the state to communicate directly with the RO.
B. Policy for applying law to state and local coverage
Federal law governs determinations involving coverage of state and local government employees. These determinations may be based on decisions regarding specific issues to which Federal law is applied and other issues to which state law is applied.
It is important to know whether Federal or state law is applied in making a determination on a specific issue.
Generally, questions involving interpretation or application of state law are resolved by the authorized legal officers of the state in accordance with applicable state and local laws, regulations and the state court decisions.
Listed here are the more significant issues that require such determinations and the authority under which the determinations are made:
Does an employer-employee relationship exist?
What is the identity of the employer?
Are earnings wages?
What are emergency services?
What are student services?
Who is an officer of a state or political subdivision?
Is an entity a political subdivision?
What is the legal status of a new entity?
Is a function governmental or proprietary?
Is a position under a retirement system?
Which employees are eligible for membership in a retirement system?
Who is an employee for purposes of retirement system participation?
What is the definition of a police officer or firefighter position?